The Estimates Debate 2012-2013


Chris Sinckler, Minister of Finance (l) Mia Mottley (r) will square-off in the Estimates Debate on Monday in a surprise move announced by Owen Arthur on the weekend

The Estimates for 2012/2013 financial year is scheduled to be debated in the House of Assembly on 12 March 2012. The debate will generate interest in Barbados for several reasons. Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler will have to be mindful that Barbados is currently battling significant economic challenges, at the same time a general election looms. To add intrigue to the political landscape, on the weekend Opposition Leader Owen Arthur – to the surprise of many – informed a political meeting held at Haggatt Hall that Mia Mottley will reply to Minister of Finance in the Estimates Debate.

Some view the decision by Arthur with suspicion given the fracture which was widened when the Barbados Labour Party parliamentary group switched allegiance to Owen Arthur.  On the other hand others have suggested that Arthur tossed an olive branch to Mottley and  thereby paved the way to present a united front in the lead up  to the next general election.

Of interest to BU will be the approach of Mottley in the debate if she accepts the offer to reply. Since Mottley was replaced as opposition leader she has been careful to avoid a rabid partisan stance on the issues. She has instead taken the high road. Her reply to Sinckler in the Estimates will give Arthur the opportunity to judge if she is prepared to unequivocally toe the party line. If she does, Arthur, the master tactician, would have won the war in the tug war with Mia.

52 thoughts on “The Estimates Debate 2012-2013

  1. WHY is Chris Sinckler not Prime Minister of Barbados ?
    WHY is Freundel Stuart blocking Chris from what is rightfully Chris’s ???

    WILL Chris SInckler pull an Eager 1 stunt on Budget day and usurp Freundel ???
    WILL the Eager 11 support Chris Sinckler’s move on Budget day ???
    WILL this spell the end of Freundel who will defintely not lead the DLP into the next election ???


  2. MEACULPA is the term that readily comes to mind.Perhaps I am wrong,perhaps I am not.It would certainly help if Sanka or Albert would have Mr.Arthur tell this nation the status of the one he appointed as Co-leader.Does he still have plans to foist the bajan version of Mitt Romney upon this nation?Is it unreasonable to suggest that Mia is being groomed to take her rightful place once again?Is this a united front or is it a unilateral fake?Can one fool one’s self? There are more questions than answers.

  3. @Hamilton
    The only question is who will look more capable of dealing with the economy, keeping their word to the people and leading a competent team in government during these challenging times while at the very least keeping touch with some of the masses. It’s easier to sell those “wares” while In opposition rather than being in government with a record (or lack of) to defend.

    Arthur won the Mottley war long time ago. The resurgence of CLICO has given him a win-win situation for easing her back in to the party’s (and his) benefit. She spoke Sunday, that was alot as is. If she replies to Chris, the DLP will have a hard time peddling the fractured story. “One rope pulling in the same direction.” Lord. So simple it ridiculous. Empty maybe but effective for sure.

    by the way, thanks for the estimates link .Will sit it up next to these two unbiased articles shortly. Still think Chris has a hard sell.

  4. Arthur knows that Chris Sinckler destroyed him in last year’s budget wrap up and cannot afford the repeat of such.
    If Mottley comes across as too partisan the public will see it as an act. After saying that she was standing on principle for the last year then to launch into a bitter partisan presentation would portray her as just another fake politician putting party before principle.
    The other opposition members will be very predictable in their responses but the presentation from the PM and Dr. Estwick will be brilliant as usual.

    • @!

      Not sure you are correct, this is Arthur being wily playing the hand dealt by the CLICO issue to line up for the next election.


      No problem, it is an exercise captured on BU through the years. This time around as you know it takes on special significance.

  5. Mia vs Chris: BLP wins
    Frendel vs Owen: Owen wins
    The DLP is treading very close to being a one-term government.

  6. @!

    “but the presentation from the PM and Dr. Estwick will be brilliant as usual”

    what planet are you from again? if you really believe that, than the BLP is going to white wash the DLP’s ass come the next election. the PM is uninspiring and down right boring.

    i can say that as someone who holds no side and listens to the PM to get a feel for what is happening. it is very amazing that persons around him, who would say they care, can’t tell him this.

    Dr. Estwick as brilliant as you call him, walking on shells because he is looking around for the knife from his own people. he is to busy growing eyes in the back of his head.

    as for the topic. if the first time Mia would of heard of this was the same time Barbados heard about, this i one big joke. how could she do it when she does not shadow Finance? would this not mean Owen would have to help her? is Owen willing to do that? will Owen do that? did he do it in the pass?

    i waiting to see what will happen.

    • The Judiciary under Head 15 – page 104 of the Estimates seems to be a department which has commanded a significant increase in budget allocation.

  7. with all the talk about CLICO policyholders being repaid i wonder If the BLP would apporpriate Funds in response to estimates toward a “Special Funding” for such and how much as MIA MOTTLEY has suggested in her speech as to who should be paid first! Let’s see if BLP put their money where their mouth is because talk is cheap although i believe they only respond would be to attack what the DLP plans are!

  8. A cursory glance has been taken at the summary estimates data.
    Anyone with some in-depth knowledge and understanding of public finance and accounting garner either through training or experience can only come to the conclusion that this country is in deep, deep dog doo-doo. In other words up to its skull cap in serious financial and economic troubles and sleep walking into a nightmare of financial meltdown with the IMF as the ghost-buster standing by to be hired.

    In spite of the forthcoming spin, political grandstanding ,colourful picture painting and optimistic script written and rehearsed and soon to be presented as part of the theatre the sibyl will shout like a siren that things will be brown brown, black in BIM possibly leading to a Greek-type tragedy. Now is the time to put resources behind those sectors that can help us prepare for and survive the oncoming economic tidal wave of titanic proportions. But what we get is the same old, same old mutton dressed up as lamb.

    Is the Judiciary in need of injections of additional resources at this time? Or is it in need of a management overhaul and commitment and employees’ refocusing of their roles? Much money has already been expended in this area as far as investment in education and training, recruitment, amendment to legislation and upgrade physical plant. It’s time taxpayers and citizens see some returns instead of more wastage and throwing good money down a bottomless well on Whitepark Rd cr. Walrond St.

  9. All the issues facing Barbados such as lack of productivity, bloated public sector, CLICO, over dependence on fossil fuels and high costs did not start in Jan 2008 and will not be solved by going back to the BLP. As a country we must accept this fact.
    There is nothing presented by the BLP except to blame the DLP for an economy battered by a global economic meltdown.
    Educated Barbadians listening to the estimates will recognise this.We will not be fooled by the BLP lies and lack of solutions.

  10. The cuurent Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy and the team at The BTA are doing an exceptional job in fighting to maintain our tourism numbers and sector.
    When one looks at the recession in our source markets, the APD , the high cost of fuel and the increased cost of air travel, Richard Sealy and his team have done as good a job as any Minister in recent memory.
    The increased airlift from Scandanavia, the airlinks from Brazil, the increase in regional travel especially from Trinidad, the establishment of a vice president to focus solely on the UK market, the social media marketing campaign and the hosting of repeat customers at Illaro court , NBC with Matt Lauer, Rihanna and countless other initiatives.
    We have a very good Tourism Minister and a team that are working. I look forward to hearing his contribution during the estimates.Good Job Minister Sealy.Keep Working.

  11. @!
    “The other opposition members will be very predictable in their responses but the presentation from the PM and Dr. Estwick will be brilliant as usual”.

    Wait you really mean that boisterous pitbull! Wait he still around?? He has not been barking these days at all. Poor fellow he has a lot to deal with, quickdraw and trouble at the police station.

  12. @!
    “The cuurent Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy and the team at The BTA are doing an exceptional job in fighting to maintain our tourism numbers and sector”.

    Doing a good job?? Not according to the employees at the BTA. Morale is at its lowest ebb, the BTA has no money, is not paying its bills, promotions are down to the minimum and the board is depending on Rhianna and now Cover Drive to save them.

    The board has no money because the board is big headed and would not take the advice of the people who know the product. How much of a return is the country getting from putting money AT THIS TIME into GOL and other airlines.

    And by the way MR! what return is Barbados getting from having Sandi in China?? What a waste of money at this time and the taxpayers of this country is also footing the bill for Sandi to have his Barbadian cook up there.

    That is the problem with the DLP, and as miller said looking at the estimates, this country is in deep trouble and the DLP continues to spend money as if it is coming out of the well at Samaria.

  13. HAVENT you guys heard that Jones started his bid to replace Jack Warner ???
    DIDNT you know that Jones was out of the country seeking his fortunes in this direction ???

  14. @ !

    Where is the Tourism Master Plan?
    Where is the restructured BTA?
    Where are the benefits from GOL?
    Why is the BTA borrowing from NIS?

  15. @Prodigal Son,
    The employees at the BTA that I know are impressed by the attitude and dedicated leadership of Minister Sealy and the CEO Mr. Rice.
    Only the most blinded partisan would refuse to acknowledge the strides being made despite the global recession and other factors listed previously.

  16. @Enuff
    We cannot remain stuck in the same mould. That is why Minister Sealy must be commended. He and Mr. Elcock are bring a fresh and dynamic vision to our tourism strategies.

    Developing new markets is essential for a diversified tourism strategy. If we ignore Brazil, one of the fastest growing economies in the world which is just around the corner we do so at our own peril. You must know that you have to build the route and this is a visionary step.That does not happen overnight but it also does not mean that we should not engage this fast developing economic powerhouse.

    You think the rest of the Caribbean and the world isn’t looking at Brazil.Barbados must continue to lead.
    As for Rihanna, could you imagine if the biggest star in the world who is a bajan was contracted by Jamaica, Australia or any other country to do their tourism marketing, the same BLP would be up and down this country lambasting the government for letting another country use our superstar.
    Rihanna has a billion times more name recognition that any politician in Barbados. Stop the partisan criticism and give the government credit where it is due.
    The tourism ministry is in very competent and capable hands.

  17. @!
    That Brazil argument is rubbish. A growing market does not mean Brazilians are interested in the Barbadian product!! Why Barbados instead of South Beach or New York? Furthermore why then are so many of the GOL flights empty and our government having to pay for those empty seats?

  18. @ Enuff | March 10, 2012 at 3:58 PM |

    Have you noticed “!” side stepping? Not a word about borrowing from the NIS or the Master Plan or the long overdue promise of restructuring. Two BTA’s in one- never heard so much crap yet -rationalization is the way forward not bureaucratic expansion.
    Right !!!!!

  19. I wish so much we could take the politics out of tourism. It is so destructive. I remember asking the previous BTA chairman what the time frame was for restructuring the BTA and he told me six months. That was nearly four years ago and when he said six months, I knew that was virtually impossible without political commitment.
    I am totally behind the Brazil service. It was the right airline, right route and right frequency (initially), but a great deal MORE has to be done.
    I am truly amazed that we have not seen any trade delegations or use of freight to subsidise the service. And we must focus on niche areas that would attract Brazilians like watersports (Kite, wind and board surfing).
    Finally, there are simply not enough people with proven tourism experience in the right places of policymaking and marketing. Many of those that are there, simply do not have a clue how tourism really works.

  20. @enuff
    by your argument, we would never target any new markets for tourism- just sit down here and sing God save the Queen!
    We are an island and the main way to get people here is by airlift.The Brazil flights are not empty nor are they bursting at the seams but I believe that it is a worthwhile investment because the relationship being fostered by the embassy in Brazil is not only in tourism air links but in business ,agriculture,etc.
    In an obvious tight economic climate, NIS funding is not a startling revelation or anything unique to this government. What is impressive is that we have not slackened in our marketing and promotional efforts internationally. The BTA has entered relationships with the two most successfull teams in the NBA last year- The Dallas Mavericks and The Miami Heat. Our marketing team is clearly on the ball(pun intended) as it turned out that both of these teams reached the NBA finals , gaining tremendous exposure for Barbados in Dallas and Miami. The marketing relationship with Chelsea football club and the hosting of the English Masters football was a great complement to our UK strategy.
    The Minister of Tourism is clearly rising to the challenge.

  21. Not so sure kite surfing and windsurfing will be able to fill a GOL flight plus they can go to the north east coast of Brazil.

  22. @!

    Don’t pay the rat pack like miller and enuff and prodigal they are just jealous . after all the only plan they yesteryear back in de day government had was to invite investor in and buy up all the beachfront property . That was there idea of promoting Barbados Tourist Industry and having themselves grandiose shopping sprees in MIAmi .

  23. @ ac | March 10, 2012 at 7:50 PM |
    …. “after all the only plan they yesteryear back in de day government had was to invite investor in and buy up all the beachfront property ”

    So ac, the mill rat would like to know if things have changed under the present administration. Isn’t the DLP administration flying all over the place begging people to come and invest in real estate? Isn’t the East coast of Barbados up for sale?
    The only difference, DLP town crier, is that there are very few ‘johns’ interested. The overseas people do not have confidence or trust in this administration.

  24. @ miller
    i surprise you didn’t debunked what is said about the OSA yester plan of Tourism for Barbados which is true However this present administration has done strategically well in promoting barbados through international media and that you cannot deny also and not only depend on foreign investor.

  25. Show us the money, ac, that you supposedly spent your nights working so hard for. You know that Mighty Sparrow hit: “Ya can’t make love on hungry belly”!

    We want to see the money and receipts from tourist spending. Not numbers passing through GAIA for the cruise ships or one-day stopovers to the other islands.
    Where are the additional receipts needed to stem the tide of hotel closures and deterioration of plant?
    Ac, you think the DLP administration is going to put their hands in the pensioners’ cookie jar and bail out the Almond? You still think they are “in the process of thinking about a plan to pay a DLP consultant to advise them on a way forward in relation to the policy of initiation a set of proposals that would examine options for the GEMS”.

  26. @ !
    “We cannot remain stuck in the same mould. That is why Minister Sealy must be commended. He and Mr. Elcock are bring a fresh and dynamic vision to our tourism strategies”.

    How much did the Rhianna concert cost the taxpayers? Do you know that as a result of expense of this concert, the BTA has not been paying its bills. From the time Richard Sealy took over as the Minister of Tourism, the BTA was to be split into two separate entities, what has happened with that?

    BTW, The “satisfied” BTA employees you maybe are those sent there by the DLP, the untouchables.

  27. @ Adian Loveridge

    “Finally, there are simply not enough people with proven tourism experience in the right places of policymaking and marketing. Many of those that are there, simply do not have a clue how tourism really works”……………………………….

    I could not agree with you more. That is the jest of what I hear from those who know how tourism works, not the square pegs in round holes. David Rice what? He does not have a clue.

  28. miller,

    They have a consultant already, a past employee. And to think the hypocrites lampooned the BLP for engaging consultants.

    BTW, !, how much is it costing the taxpayers (cause you all spend money like how the dead king and Leroy Parris spent CLICO policyholders’ money) to bring these GOL flights to Barbados? What is the rate of return on this investment?

    I would have thought that since we have a proven presence in the UK market, rather than subsidizing GOL flights, why not use this same money to lure the Brits here whose currency is worth more to us than what the Brazillians would spend. That same money could be used to subsidize some of the APD tax, not all. More Brits would come.

    But why is this government hosting these parties at Illaro Court every month. The tourists are not spending money and the little that they spend, this foolish government turn around and spend it back on them.

    This is why people will always be critical of this government. Things are hard, some people have not received their tax refunds from last year as yet and it it is soon time to file again, do we really need to have these parties every month? In this recession time, we are not saying do not have them but cant we have them QUARTERLY?? That is why people keep saying that this government does not show that it is making any sacrifices while people are suffering. And to boot, these parties are only another way for a yardfowl to make money, I see in the Advocate a photo of Patrick Gollop at the latest party, for what reason, I may ask???

  29. To criticise the receptions for long stay visitors at Illaro court is shortsighted.
    These repeat visitors are a significant cornerstone of our major foreign exchange earning sector. They are the most effective ambassadors for Barbados because they personally endorse the product in their homeland.
    To show them our highest level of appreciation is good business and a good investment in the relationship and only enhances their positive representation of Barbados to others. It adds to the positive Barbados experience and certainly does not hurt us.
    Any business worth its salt knows that excellent treatment of loyal customers will pay short term and longterm benefits.
    Unfortunately , they are some people out there who are so partisan that they begin to criticise just for the sake of criticising.If their party did it, it would be hailed as brilliant.

  30. @Prodigal Son
    There is nothing wrong with consultants if their consultancy can be justified. The BTA consultant has a long association with tourism in Barbados and his capabilities are well known.

    The problem with Owen Arthur’s BLP consultants is that by his own admission, some of them were persons he knew who he was helping out by giving them taxpayers money like Mr. Hinkson for example. The guy who chaired the BLP meeting last Sunday was getting nuff money as a consultant and they are still looking for a report or anything that he did. Why do you think that these BLP fellas are out there campaigning now to get back in- they need to rebuild their bank accounts.
    I will not be helping those BLP lackeys get their hands on taxpayers money again,will you?

  31. @ !

    “The problem with Owen Arthur’s BLP consultants is that by his own admission, some of them were persons he knew who he was helping out by giving them taxpayers money like Mr. Hinkson for example.”

    The Chairman of the Transport Board is a Workshop Consultant to the Boards parent Ministry. What is the difference?

  32. @ ac

    “after all the only plan they yesteryear back in de day government had was to invite investor in and buy up all the beachfront property.”

    You need to stop misleading the public. The west coast beachfront properties were privately owned long before 1994 – 2007. Moreover, the majority of coastal projects were REDEVELOPMENTS of existing properties; in fact the biggest developments during 1994-2008 were inland-Royal Westmoreland, Sugar Hill, Apes Hill, Lion Castle etc. Ironically, since January 2008 the only project started is on beachfront land at Foul Bay.

  33. Hey David, now found time to read. That judiciary 1.8 increase appears to be for vehicles (pg 29)

    The blame game is tired. Especially those trying to compare the pre 2008 era and the BLP. All that matters is what’s next, what’s needed and who best to effect it. This. Week will be telling. Even wickham singing a modified tune.

  34. @observing

    Thanks, it must be stated that the budget planners have slashed most of the Heads. The question in the debate will be how scarce resources can be optimized in the context of a sluggish global economy on which our open import pregnant economy depends.

  35. Owen is smart. If I was Mia I would decline as now I will get all the licks from the DLP. In the last budget wrap up Sinckler threw so much licks in Owen; he was a beaten and bruised man so he is not going go through that again. As I said he is smart…

  36. Our politicians should take some inspiration from Italy’s Pm Mario Monti:
    Italy’s impressive prime minister has changed domestic and European politics
    Mar 10th 2012 |

    SUCH is the reverence for Mario Monti that some compare him to Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, the patrician recalled from retirement to save ancient Rome. Legend recounts how Cincinnatus was working in his fields in 458BC when he was approached by messengers, told to don his toga and informed that he had been appointed dictator for six months to confront the Aequi, who had trapped a Roman army. Having defeated the foes, Cincinnatus surrendered his absolute powers and returned to the plough, refusing all spoils and gifts.

  37. @enuff
    Therefore what you are saying is that the BLP if elected will be more of the same . no reform- something for the voters to think about

  38. @!
    Can you share with us what reform we’ve had over the past 4 years??? Just so an “ignorant” voter like myself can be aware of my options.

  39. @!

    The Dems promised CHANGE not EXCHANGE. Just admit wunna failed in bringing change and actually made things worse.

  40. What is really going on in this country? Things are so dreadful, people cannot buy food far less pay the exorbitant light bills and I was at the airport this evening and saw a new AUDI ML 634. Could God man, this country is in deep trouble and statutory boards are allowed to buy AUDIs for its officers? I have no problem with people buying their own luxury cars but no taxpayer dollars should buy luxury cars for persons other than the GG, PM, CJ and the Judges. Not even the DPP should be allowed such an expensivw car like the Mercedes I see him now driving.

    This government is not acting like it is in deep recession, crumbs,man.

  41. It is amazing that after the 16th January 2012, it was predicted that gloom & doom were about to unleash itself on Barbados because of the election victory of the Democratic Labour Party.An economic Tsunami was on its way for Barbados with unimaginable consequences.
    Five year later the same scenario is forecast for Barbados.- total economic destruction.
    Fortunately,the economic Tsunami did not materialized and whatever economic challenges we had encountered during that period of time were skillfully handled by this competent government led by the humble and decent Freundel Stuart.
    This world was/is in an economic turmoil.Economic chaos with its resultant social problems has wreck havoc on some major cities of this world.For example,Europe powerhouse Greece is still in economic crisis.That crisis has led to massive demonstration s in Greece.Another European powerhouse Greece is still in economic decline.The great United States of America is now struggling to get out the economic mess that former USA president George W Bush left that country in.In the Caribbean many countries in this region are still reeling from the effects of the world recession.
    In Barbados,we have and had our economic challenges but nevertheless this government had met those challenges and is at the present time doing all it can in assisting all of us in handling the ill effects of the economic downturn.These economic challenges have resulted in a slight rise in unemployment but the rate of unemployment is consistent with rate for unemployment in Barbados for at least the last thirty year (30) or so.In Barbados the average unemployment rate is at about 8 or 9 % and that is during economic boom.Taking that into consideration,an unemployment rate of of about 9 or 10% in these times is quite okay.The government of Barbados must be commended for allowing the rate of unemployment not to reach alarming proportions.
    Barbadians are intelligent,sensible and politically astute people.Political posturing by the clowns masquerading as serious politicians in the Barbados Labour Party will not fool us into electing them into office at this time.The Democratic Labour Party has done a reasonably good job and it is guaranteed a second term in office.Owen Arthur charade is going to be seen for what it is- nonsense.

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